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Bariatric Surgery

Let us help you on your weight loss journey

Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

There is more to obesity than diet and exercise. Stress, sleep, hormones, chronic pain, underlying medical conditions, medications and genetics can also play an important role. Obesity also increases the risk of other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and fertility issues.

Our multidisciplinary team of surgeons, psychologists, nurses, dietitians, and physical therapists can help support you in achieving and maintaining your health goals.

Your Care Team


Conditions / Procedures

  • Sleeve Gastrectomy


    The Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy, often called the "sleeve", is performed by removing approximately 80% of the stomach. The remaining stomach is the size and shape of a banana.

    The Procedure

    1. The stomach is freed from organs around it.
    2. Surgical staplers are used to remove 80% of the stomach, making it much smaller.

    How it Works

    The new stomach holds less food and liquid helping reduce the amount of food (and calories) that are consumed. By removing the portion of the stomach that produces most of the “hunger hormone”, the surgery has an effect on the metabolism. It decreases hunger, increases fullness, and allows the body to reach and maintain a healthy weight as well as blood sugar control. The simple nature of the operation makes it very safe without the potential complications from surgery on the small intestine.


    • Technically simple and shorter surgery time
    • Can be performed in certain patients with high-risk medical conditions
    • May be performed as the first step for patients with severe obesity
    • May be used as a bridge to gastric bypass or SADI-S procedures
    • Effective weight loss and improvement of obesity related conditions


    • Non-reversible procedure
    • May worsen or cause new onset reflux and heart burn
    • Less impact on metabolism compared to bypass procedures

    Procedure content provided by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (

  • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass


    The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, often called the “gastric bypass”, has now been performed for more than 50 years and the laparoscopic approach has been refined since 1993. It is one of the most common operations and is very effective in treating obesity and obesity related diseases. The name is a French term meaning “in the form of a Y”.

    The Procedure

    First, the stomach is divided into a smaller top portion (pouch) which is about the size of an egg. The larger part of the stomach is bypassed and no longer stores or digests food. The small intestine is also divided and connected to the new stomach pouch to allow food to pass. The small bowel segment which empties the bypassed or larger stomach is connected into the small bowel approximately 3-4 feet downstream, resulting in a bowel connection resembling the shape of the letter Y. Eventually the stomach acids and digestive enzymes from the bypassed stomach and first portion of the small intestine will mix with food that is eaten.

    How it Works

    The gastric bypass works in several ways. Like many bariatric procedures, the newly created stomach pouch is smaller and able to hold less food, which means fewer calories are ingested. Additionally, the food does not come into contact with the first portion of the small bowel, and this results in decreased absorption. Most importantly, the modification of the food course through the gastrointestinal tract has a profound effect to decrease hunger, increase fullness, and allow the body to reach and maintain a healthy weight. The impact on hormones and metabolic health often results in improvement of adult-onset diabetes even before any weight loss occurs. The operation also helps patients with reflux (heart burn) and often the symptoms quickly improve. Along with making appropriate food choices, patients must avoid tobacco products and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen.


    • Reliable and long-lasting weight loss
    • Effective for remission of obesity-associated conditions
    • Refined and standardized technique


    • Technically more complex when compared to sleeve gastrectomy or gastric band
    • More vitamin and mineral deficiencies than sleeve gastrectomy or gastric banding
    • There is a risk for small bowel complications and obstruction
    • There is a risk of developing ulcers, especially with NSAID or tobacco use
    • May cause “dumping syndrome,” a feeling of sickness after eating or drinking, especially sweets

    Procedure content provided by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (

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 Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate?

If you are over 18 and have struggled with weight loss for several years (BMI greater than 30), you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery. Our team will work with you and your support network to determine a personalized plan of action to achieve and maintain your health goals.

Does insurance cover this procedure?

Some insurance companies cover bariatric surgery services dependent on the patient’s BMI. Many insurance companies see the long-term benefit that bariatric procedures can provide for patients, including a decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Our billing team will work with you and your insurance plan to help you understand all costs prior to the procedure. We also have reasonable self-pay options for our patients.

What makes the bariatric weight loss program at UTMB different?

We understand that weight loss is a personal journey that requires cohesive support. Bariatric procedures are a possible step within that journey and can help patients to achieve fantastic results. Here at UTMB, we offer a full spectrum of healthcare support at every stage of your journey, from changing nutritional needs to mental health guidance, and even have a bariatric surgery support group where patients can share bariatric-friendly recipes, tips for success, and personal experiences.

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